5 years ago
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After three rounds of struggle, Aleix Espargaro started the weekend with a top three finishes, a positive outlook and new winglets.
Since 2015, winglets have been the must have aerodynamic upgrade in the MotoGP™ World Championship. In 2016 many more teams have debuted them after Ducati started the trend, Team Suzuki Ecstar the most recent factory squad to test them. Unlike many others, Suzuki has chosen to run three sets of smaller winglets down the side of the fairing. Suzuki were initially only going to run them during the post-race test on Monday, but a persistent Aleix Espargaro was able to fit them to his bike for Free Practice 2 and was immediately impressed. It’s still early days but Espargaro feels they made him more comfortable on the bike and while they may not be the difference between third and first, they’re certainly a help.
However, Espargaro’s fastest time of the day, a 1’40.093 came aboard his GSX-RR not running the winglets, suggesting that the standard Suzuki is a very capable bike on its own. With both Team Suzuki Ecstar bikes inside the top ten, the Grand Premio Red Bull de España is certainly off to a positive start for the Hamamatsu factory. The winglets are just the latest edition to an ever evolving GSX-RR, the team having made significant progress at a private test in America and now reaping huge benefits. In several races this year Maverick Viñales has proven the Suzuki is capable of challenging for the podium, now it's Aleix Espargaro's turn to head the charge.
Aleix Espargaro: “Finally I have a very positive feeling with my machine; with my crew we did an incredible job to try different solutions and finally we are finding more competitiveness. The good thing is that with this we are calmer and also making steps forward is easier. Today the program was intense, and also we had the new winglets to try: I wasn’t supposed to use them until Monday, but I asked about the timing and the team gave me the green light. My impressions are very, very rough at the moment and for sure we need to test them in more depth, but for what I saw today, they are a positive improvement. It’s not something revolutionary, but they may give us an edge in certain conditions; more for my comfort riding than in absolute performance of the machine. Apart of that, I scored my best time when the GSX-RR wasn’t equipped with winglets, meaning that the progress we are making is solid.”
5 years ago
5 years ago